Hosting Family & Visiting San Francisco
I finally figured out why families are so great. It’s so that when you’re grown and living in a cool place like the Bay Area, your family can come crash in your living room, and you have a handy supply of tourist buddies to drag to all your favorite locations after your husband has grown tired of them. So here’s the run-down, all quick like, because we want to get on to important things, like pictures.
Wednesday (Apr 2): picking up people from airports. My parents got in at 2:15, so we only had time to pick them up, show them the living room, let them endear themselves to their grandkids via licorice, and then go out to dinner. We tried a Mexican place on California Ave., at which I predictably ordered fajitas. Rebekah had to be taken out, because she was wired from all the excitement. At 10:00 pm, I drove to Oakland to pick up Bryce. I got really familiar with the airports on this trip. :)
Thursday: saw Stanford campus. Mom babysat the twins so I could have lunch with Bryce and Dad. We took Dad to the Stanford Theater which, as predicted, he loved. Bryce tolerated Barbara Stanwyck’s stilted acting from the 1930′s on a black-and-white screen, and drowned his boredom in a bunch of concessions.
Friday: I over-ambitiously attempted to bring twin two-year-olds with us into the city. After walking for twenty minutes in the rain to the train station, my mom took pity on them and took them home for a hot bath. (The abandon with which this woman volunteers for babysitting almost makes you think she enjoys it! :) ) The rest of us saw Alcatraz, had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe on Pier 39, and walked along Fisherman’s Wharf down to Ghiradelli Square, where we bought overpriced ice cream sundaes and way too much chocolate. Then it was another couple hours of buses and train rides back home, where we slept quite soundly.
Saturday: General Conference, but we skipped the priesthood session in the name of late afternoon naps and a trip for me and Dad back to the Stanford Theater. Somewhere in there we also let the kids play in the backyard, which quickly turned into a photo shoot.
Sunday: Dropped Mom off at the airport in the morning, and drove back in time for more General Conference. We decided it was a good thing that the church forced us into taking a couple rest days from all our sight-seeing. They were desperately needed.
Monday: I offered to drive Bryce and Dad into the city, which would have worked great except that I don’t know my way around SF and I got off at the wrong exit, so I actually left them stranded 10 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, and they had to use their smart phones to figure out bus routes the rest of the way. They opted to take the train home. :)
Tuesday: We rented a car for the whole day and headed north. We hit San Francisco around 10:00 am and checked out the beach on the west end. We had lunch at Cliff House, where Bryce won the order roulette with their grilled salmon. Then we continued north until we reached the redwood park at Muir Woods, which was gorgeous and tranquil and a nice change of pace from the frenzy of the city. I stayed up extra late and picked up Mike from the airport around midnight.
Wednesday: After Mike and I got home around 1:00 am, I slept for a few hours and got up at 4:00 to drop Bryce off at the airport. A few hours later, I got in the car one final time and dropped Dad off.
This week went so fast and was so fun! I love these people, and would have them back any time!
Mike’s Job Search
Mike spent a full week in Boston, interviewing with companies and attending a couple of sessions at the national ASCE conference. The months before his visit, he e-mailed every structural engineering company he could find in Boston, and said something along the lines of “I’ll be in town, and would love to interview with you.” And it worked. Companies that hadn’t listed any available positions brought him in for interviews! This is the same technique he used to get his $15/hr internship in Orem. The man is a genius at job hunting, and he had a week busy enough to prove it.
The most exciting report came on Friday, while we were at Ghiradelli Square. Prior to his trip, he’d been trying to make contact with a company called RSA, who had an office in New York. They invited him for an interview, but weren’t willing to pay to fly him out. Mike offered to make the three-hour drive from Boston to New York while he was out there, but they never got back to him, so he made other plans. A few days into his Boston visit, he got a call from their office essentially saying, “You know, our president is attending the conference you’re at, so how about you sit down with him for 30 minutes or so?” He did, and the interview went so unbelievably well. The president of the company offered him a job in the interview (something he’s only done twice), and made strong hints about Mike being the kind of talent they hope to have in key positions 15 years from now. It was generally very exciting. The official job offer we received a few days later was even more exciting. I’m still drooling over their benefits package.
The other job offers Mike’s received are pretty attractive, too. We’ve pretty much narrowed the decision down to two really prestigious companies, both of which Mike would love to work at, both of which offer comparable pay, and both of which are in Boston. We hope to have a final decision made by tomorrow.
The other exciting news from Mike’s uber-productive Boston adventure: he leased us an apartment. He’d been working through a rental agency that wanted a $1900 “finder’s fee,” but once he hit that fine print, he dropped them and went out on his own. It’s a long story, but the upshot is this: my tenacious husband talked to the gardener on the property of an apartment building, got hooked up directly with one of the landlords (thereby avoiding the agency fee) who just happened to have an apartment available in June, laid down a deposit and signed the paperwork. Location? Right across the street from Harvard’s divinity school.
Needless to say, it was a productive week. And we are now 100% sure we’re going to Boston in two months! Wahoo!
I’ve been in “recovery mode” for the past four days. This consists of letting my house go entirely to seed, ignoring my children, feeding them complete junk (doritos, animal crackers, dry cereal, and candy) and watching old episodes of House. All. Weekend. Long.
This no-stress plan was going swimmingly until Friday. I discovered puddles of bleach in my cabinets. Somehow our bleach had been leaking all over some food storage, so I had to mop it up and throw out a bunch of food. Unbeknownst to me, the twins had turned the lock on the front door handle, so when I came back from the dumpster, I was locked out of the house. I got some neighbors to call the housing office, and they promised to send someone down with the master key in 15 minutes (ha!). I stood outside the front door and held Rebekah’s hand through the mail slot while she cried. It was really funny for the first 15 minutes, and really not-funny for the last 30. Eventually I made it back inside and we drowned our trauma in corn dogs.
Kids’ Recent Stuff
Rebekah still loves to take off her clothes, but she’s figured out that I don’t approve, so she always hides behind the kitchen curtains to do it.
I’ve been telling Jared “no” a lot lately, and it’s turned into an adorable game:
This also happened:
…which is how my kitchen sink ended up looking like this:
Next up: Holy Week! Easter! Final job decision! Tune in next time.
P.S. – Did you know that you can make cookies with Cadbury Mini-Eggs? Be still, my heart.